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De Lima calls for probe on adverse effects of Duterte’s tax reforms

/ 11:52 AM June 23, 2017

Sen. Leila M. de Lima.
(FILE PHOTO: Joseph Vidal/Prib)

Detained Senator Leila de Lima has filed a resolution calling for a review of the possible adverse impact of the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform package on millions of poor Filipino families.

“There is an urgent need to investigate such impact, in aid of legislation, especially in light of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill in the Lower House,” she noted in the Senate Resolution (SR) No. 407.

In the resolution, the senator urged the appropriate Senate committee to scrutinize the potential effects of the TRAIN which has been passed on third and final reading at the House of Representatives.

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The House  voted 246 for and 9 against to pass House Bill 5636 or the TRAIN.

READ: House passes Duterte’s tax reform package on final reading

The TRAIN is a priority measure of the Duterte administration, which aims to lower personal income taxes and estate taxes. It will, however, impose higher excise taxes on fuel, sugar sweetened beverages, new cars so the government could recover the losses it would incur from lowering other taxes.

Critics argue that the increase in excise taxes will drive prices of basic commodities up, making poor families even  poorer with the increased cost of goods.

READ: Middle to low-income earners to be hit by Duterte tax reforms – Lagman

De Lima also said the measure will “strongly affect the poor, such as the minimum wage earners, and the unemployed, who have no capacity to pay.”

“The government must be ready to withstand the economic shocks of the proposal, while taking into consideration other economic factors like rising unemployment,” she said.

“Congress is duty-bound to ensure that tax proposal abides by the constitutional standard of uniform and equitable tax system, and that they have long-term positive effects for all stakeholders, including taxpayers, those who pay direct and indirect taxes alike, and the Government,” De Lima added. IDL/rga

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TAGS: Excise Tax, Income Tax, Leila de Lima, Politics, Rodrigo Duterte, Tax, tax reform, Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, Train
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